pub·lic re·la·tions – noun

“Public relations is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.” (As defined by the Public Relations Society of America PRSA in 2012 after reviewing nearly 1000 suggested definitions.)

My husband had a much simpler definition as he found me sitting on the floor of my office surrounded by boxes of old campaigns and promotional materials,  “PR stands for Pack Rat”. And who can blame him for that observation, I have accumulated a lot of stuff during the course of my career, hence the purging over the long holiday weekend.  All this sorting and reminiscing got me to thinking, how did my former employers and clients know that PR was right for them and was a wise investment?

The answer is a no brainer to PR veterans, but not as easy to understand for others. Lately, WGPR has been contacted by more start-ups than in years past. The initial questions are predictable: What is PR? Why do I need it? Am I big enough? What will it cost me? These along with a whole host of other questions can and should be explored in depth.  However, to get the conversation going, the short, “elevator ride” answer is more simple; Public Relations encompasses a variety of disciplines that allows your company to:

  • Rise above the clutter: PR efforts allow your company to raise awareness of your brand, stand-out from the competition and position yourself as an expert in your field
  • Build the brand: PR lets you hone your message and build credibility with third party partners such as a magazines, newspaper and/or radio
  • Talk the talk: PR professionals know how to reach and talk to the media to position your company/brand in the best light
  • Be cost effective: Public relations can provide greater and more targeted results than advertising while costing less
  • Manage a crisis: PR support and guidance during a crisis will help shape how your company/brand is viewed in the future

These five points, in layman’s terms, should satisfy the initial inquiry and be intriguing enough to turn that elevator ride into a full-fledged sit-down meeting.

Now I need to get back to my purging as tomorrow’s recycling day!